MERRILL LEE CUNNINGHAM
The following information is the word-for-word story from the front page of the J-R from 13 January 1958 regarding the automobile accident that claimed the life of my uncle, Merrill Lee Cunningham. I will type the entire story, as the obituary is at the end of the story. I would assume that he would be listed under the Fountain County website (Andy Zachary)
Source: Crawfordsville J-R, 13 January 1958, pg. 1, col. 1
Merrill Cunningham Dies Instantly; Two Other Youths Injured One Wallace youth was killed and two others were injured in a spectacular two-car accident at 11:10 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 32 two miles west of Yountsville. The dead youth is Merrill Lee Cunningham, 16, a junior in Wallace High School. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cunningham. The injured youths, who were riding with Cunningham, were Fred Crowder, 17, a Wallace senior, and Nick Ellingwood, 15, a sophomore. Both were dismissed Monday after being overnight patients at Culver Hospital. The occupants of the other car, Robert Lee White, 20, Rt. 2, and Pat Ryan, Crawfordsville, escaped injury. Both cars involved in the accident were going west, according to White. White said that he had been trailing Cunningham for a short distance, intending to pass him. He held his speed down, though, he said, until both cars got over the brow of a hill. After they went over the small rise, White started around. Just as he accelerated he said, the Cunningham car seemed to go out of control and skid sideways down the road. White said he attempted to stop, but couldn't do so. The right front of his car hit the Cunningham auto and the latter went off the road to the south. The Cunningham car jumped the sideditch; hit a utility pole with the rear of the car; turned over four or five times along the side of the road, and then came back on the road, hitting the left side of the White car and thence coming to a stop in the roadway. All three of the occupants of the Cunningham car were thrown out, probably when the car hit the utility pole. In spite of the fact that his car had hit the Cunningham auto twice, White kept control and returned to the scene after going down the road a short distance. A passerby called for help and an ambulance was sent to the scene. Deputy Sheriff Clarence Demoret investigated. The three Wallace youths had attended a movie in Crawfordsville earlier in the evening and were returning home at the time of the accident. The Cunningham car was completely demolished. It travelled 475 feet from the point where skid marks first could be seen to where it finally stopped. Born May 10, 1941, near Wallace, Cunningham was the son of Charles C. and Dorothy Miller Cunningham. He was the student manager of the school's basketball team. Survivors include the parents; three sisters, Kay, Mary and Sally Jo, all at home; a grandfather, Lonnie Cunningham of Wallace; two aunts, Mrs. Lois Miller of Wallace and Mrs. Jewell Mellert of Ridge Farm, Ill., and two uncles, Orville Miller of Wallace and James Cunningham of Crawfordsville. The body was taken to the Servies Funeral Home in Waynetown where services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Rev. John R. Servies of Crawfordsville will be the officiating minister. Burial will be at Wolf Creek Cemetery near Wallace. Friends may call at the funeral home.